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Chocolate. That go-to indulgence, occasional reliever of stress, and a sweet treat whose consumption just happens to have an absurdly high positive correlation with winning the Nobel Prize. A plethora of chocolate brands exist across the world, in various forms and flavours, influenced…

Chocolate. That go-to indulgence, occasional reliever of stress, and a sweet treat whose consumption just happens to have an absurdly high positive correlation with winning the Nobel Prize.

A plethora of chocolate brands exist across the world, in various forms and flavours, influenced by culture and consumers’ tastes. Some chocolate brands are household names, so much so, that there is little or no association between the brand and its holding company. In this article we list some of the largest manufacturers of chocolate products in the world and their brands.

1. Mars, Inc.

chocolate_mars_incorporated_strategic_acquisitions

Family-owned Mars Incorporated is primarily known as a manufacturer of confectionery and other edibles. What is less known about the candy behemoth is that it is one of the largest providers of animal care services, and also owns brands like Pedigree and Royal Canin. The company’s operations are divided into six business segments, including Chocolate.

Mars was ranked the 6th largest, privately held company in the United States, by Forbes and has made $35 billion in revenues last year, across segments. Mars’ Chocolate division includes some iconic candy brands such as M&Ms, Snickers, and Twix.

2. Mondelez International, Inc.

chocolate_mondelez_international_strategic_acquisitions

United States-based Mondelez International, Inc. owns some of the most well-known chocolate brands in the world. Its portfolio includes Oreo, Chips Ahoy and Toblerone. With the strategic acquisition of British confectioner, Cadbury, Mondelez grew to own brands such as Dairy Milk and Bournville as well.

Mondelez has an annual revenue of $25.92 billion (in 2016) and is also considered to be a part of the ‘Big Four’ of the chocolate industry, the other three being Hershey, Nestlé and Mars.

3. Ferrero SpA

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Founded in 1946 in Piedmont, Italy, Ferrero SpA has grown to become the third largest chocolate producer and confectionery company in the world. Ferrero is known for its hazelnut flavored chocolate spread, Nutella. The Ferrero Group manufactures over 365,000 tonnes of Nutella every year, and sells about 11 million jars of it annually across 165 countries.

4. Meiji Holdings

chocolate_meiji_strategic_acquisitions

Meiji manufactures several confectionery products including Yan Yan and Hello Panda. Meiji’s chocolate product line includes 130 products, and leads the confectionery market in Japan with a 12% retail value share, according to Euromonitor International. In 2004, the company acquired the animal crackers manufacturer, Stauffer Biscuit Company, based in the United States. According to the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), Meiji is the fourth largest confectionery producer in the world.

5. Nestlé S.A. 

chocolate_nestle_strategic_acquisitions

Formed from the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé in 1905, Nestlé S.A. is one of the largest food and beverage companies in the world. It is headquartered in Switzerland. Over the years, the company has acquired brands like Maggi, KitKat (from the confectioner, Rowntree) and Ovaltine (from Novartis Pharmaceutical) to become a transnational conglomerate with revenues totalling 89.46 billion in 2016, across business units.

If you think we’ve missed out on naming a company, please feel free to leave the details in the comments section below.

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